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Producing Repentant Fruits
Bible Passage Matthew 3:7-12
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & books Acts, Matthew.

Producing Repentant Fruits

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached January 16, 2023

SCRIPTURE 📖
7 But when John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he told them, “You children of serpents! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

8 Produce fruit that is consistent with repentance!

9 Don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have father Abraham!’ because I tell you that God can raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones!

10 The ax already lies against the roots of the trees. So every tree that isn’t producing good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 I am baptizing you with water as evidence of repentance, but the one who is coming after me is stronger than I am, and I am not worthy to carry his sandals. It is he who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

12 His winnowing fork is in his hand. He will clean up his threshing floor and gather his grain into the barn, but he will burn the chaff with inextinguishable fire.”

 

BACKGROUND
The Pharisees and Sadducees were the two most important Jewish religious sects in the days of Jesus. Though the two divided sharply on some issues, they were sometimes united on specific ideas and polity.

The Pharisees were Jews who wanted to obey God’s Law. Though there were some good Pharisees (like Gamaliel Acts 5:33-39), there were also many proud ones. They believed that they were the only people who obeyed God’s law. But they destroyed what the law really meant. They introduced many extra laws on their own which they expected people to obey.

The Sadducees were wealthy people who came from the families of priests. They wanted to keep their political power so they opposed any religious ideas that might make them lose their authority. This was what often brought a sharp distinction between both sects.

John called the Pharisees and the Sadducees ‘a family of poisonous snakes’ (children of serpents). Later, Jesus used the same words about the Pharisees (Matthew 12:34; 23:33). They were dangerous like poisonous snakes. John said that they were like snakes that were trying to escape from a fire in a forest. He meant that God was angry with them. They were trying to escape from Him.

John commanded all people to repent, no matter who they were. Those who were descendants of Abraham were no more privileged in the eyes of God than the stones on the ground.

The Jews believed that Abraham’s actions were good enough for himself and for all his descendants always. So Jews thought that they were safe after they died of the mere fact that they were descendants of Abraham. But John said that that was not enough. A person may have Abraham as his ancestor but each person must change his own actions (repent and follow Christ).

All people, regardless of nationality, religion, or social status, were to leave their selfish and sinful ways and produce results in their daily lives that would prove their repentance to be genuine.

A farmer cuts down trees that do not produce good fruit. He throws them into the fire. God is like a farmer. He will punish those people who do not live in the right way.

Although John baptized people to show they had repented and been forgiven their past sins, his baptism gave them no power to live a pure life. It was merely a preparation for one who was far greater than John. Jesus Christ would give the Holy Spirit, which, like fire, would burn up the useless chaff of the heart, leaving the pure wheat to feed and strengthen the liver.

 

LESSONS✍🏽
🔷 We will not inherit the reward of the faith and the righteousness of our forebears if we do not live a life of repentance as they did

🔷 We must bear fruits that show our unity with Christ and true fellowship with Him

🔷 The time to live for Christ is now. Do not postpone a total change in your lifestyle for any worldly decision

🔷 Like John the Baptist, our life and testimony must target praise for Christ (first of all), and no human being who attempts to take the place of Jesus

🔷 God will reward every action in this world in the end.

PRAYER POINTS🙏🏽
💥 Thank God for a new week
💥 Ask for pardon for your sins

CONCLUSION📙
We must all take our personal salvation into our own hands, turn to God now, and give our lives to Him.
AMEN

In series Bright Morning Reflections